Friday, June 19, 2015

Small Break

I have taken a short break from my reading reviews to do a little writing.  I hope to get back to the books soon enough.

I'm sitting here with my new air conditioner (the reason for my writing more than reading) and enjoying the click of the keyboard.  Check out what I have been working on at:  It has been a bit of a sacrifice, but there are different forms of comfort.  The cost of my home comfort has been changing lanes for a brief while.

Stick with me.  I hope to be back on course soon.

In the mean time - Enjoy your reading!

I'll enjoy my home air conditioning.


Nicola Keegan's Swimming was a different read.  Told in first person, this may have been the most detailed book I have ever read.  To the point that I felt tired.  Yes, this one felt a bit like work.

A first for me, the narrator is an infant in the first chapter.  Interesting.  Almost believable!

The narrator loves to swim, and the reader journeys with her from her first swim as a baby through her experiences at the Olympics.  We experience the loss of a sibling, a parent.  We experience puberty, her insecurities, her successes. In great detail.

I look forward to our discussion of this selection for our book club, to hearing the other ladies' comments.  I am a bit curious to know if this is the book she meant to choose (for there are other books by this title).  Maybe knowing who selected this one contributed to my concerns with the content, for I would never have thought she would have chosen this one due to content and language.

Happy reading!

The County Fair

I checked this book out at the local proud of myself!  I am probably addicted to books, so checking this out was good for multiple reasons!

Women's Bible Cafe Book Club's February selection, Katherine Valentine's (chosen for February because of her last name!) A County Fair was an enjoyable read, introducing me to characters from the previous novels in this series.  I enjoyed getting to know them, many reminding me of people I know, for I have lived in small towns similar to the one described, one where everyone knows everyone and the business of each, also. :)

I especially appreciated two quotes:

He took up the matter with the Lord, and as the Father is wont to do by way of the Holy Spirit, He sent the answer through a simple thought....this I have experienced.  Sometimes you just know you know...and you know why you know.  Love that confirmation.
The poor Lord, Father James thought.  He was always the fall guy for people's crumbled dreams.  Why did people insist on interpreting unanswered requests as God's show of indifference, when they were really His way of preventing us from settling for second best?  It had always been Father James' experience that when God closed a door it was because there was something infinitely better a little further down our spiritual path.  Few of God's children, however, had the patience or the faith to wait it this excites me, for I, too, have had a few doors shut.  Something "infinitely" better is still ahead.  Yes, that excites me just a bit!
This novel has something for everyone...romance, mystery, loss, renewal.  A bonus for those who enjoying cooking, as the blue ribbon winner's recipes' are included at the end of the novel.  Sweet!

Happy reading!

Angels Walking

Another winner by Karen Kingsbury!  The very interesting detail about his book?  The author herself has hosted an online Facebook book discussion on this book, which concluded just last evening.  How cool is that?

Angels Walking, the first of four in this new series, takes us to the world of baseball, broken relationships, and better futures as distances between God and these characters are shortened...all with a little help from two Heaven-sent angels.

Do you believe in angels?

I do.  Consider Hebrews 13:2 - "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so, some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."  Yes.

Tyler blows his shoulder in an almost perfect baseball game, which sends him on a journey where he will meet an Alzheimer patient, possibly rekindle a past romance, and face poor decisions on both his and his parents' faults.  Somewhere in all these plot lines, readers can make connections to something within their own lives.  I did.

Within Kingsbury's novels are absorbing stories, affirming God's presence in our lives.  They leave you feeling good, as renewal stirs within the soul of souls.

Please hurry and read this one...the next in the series Chasing Sunsets releases in April, whereupon the next online discussion will begin.

Happy reading!

Three Good Things

This past Monday, while on a trip to take our Student Council to their district meeting, we stopped at the mall, and I, of course, never left the bookstore.  While there, a lady asked if I were looking for anything specific.  When I replied that I was just looking, she picked up this book off the shelf and suggested I read Three Good Things.

Author Wendy Francis takes her readers into the lives of two sisters, a bakery, and challenged loves. Both missing their mother, sisters Ellen and Lanie, close and supportive of one another, share secrets...well, most of them.

While getting to know Ellen, the reader also learns about kringles, or, at least, I did.  This pastry sounds tasty...glad the recipe was included in the final pages of the novel.  This bakery, often a means of therapy for Ellen, provides the door through which several of the minor characters are introduced, as well as the man that just might hook Ellen's heart.

I enjoyed the storyline, quckly learning that character development is a strength of this writer, resulting in our visiting the lives of three of the main characters...both the sisters and Lanie's husband Rob, which was interesting rocking back and forth and seeing their marriage through the lenses of both spouses.   All of these characters I liked as I enjoyed getting to know them, happy when their lives began to reconcile as I had hoped.

Wendy Francis' next novel The Summer of Good Intentions releases this July.

Happy reading!

The Prayer Box

I started this novel today...and read until I had finished it.  Just that good.

Lisa Wingate's The Prayer Box is about just that...80+ prayer boxes left behind by Iola Anne Poole and discovered by her tenant who has been asked to clean the house while legal issues are resolved concerning the house's ownership.  What a powerful idea:  prayer boxes.

Main character Tandi and her children, running from a past and to a future, arrive in Rodanthe with little and gain a family, a background, a bond.  As Tandi works and reads the prayers, she grows into herself, finding grace, finding the desire, the strength to reveal yet save what meant so much to Iola Anne.

Wingate tells two tales via the genre of letter writing.  Via this letters, the reader takes Iola Anne's journey.  These are some of my favorite lines:

Yet amid all this, there is the water of grace...All in need of the water of grace from one another and from you...There is so much good.  So much grace.  So much pouring into the river.  A quiet water, this river of grace.  Its work done in ways that do not seek attention.  Yet it is there.  Always there.
Many lessons to learn from this novel; lessons that I want to experience, for I want to become a prayer box owner myself.

Upon completing the novel, I discovered the existence of a novella that goes back in time and sets the scene for this novel.  Now, I have to have it and the rest of the novellas and novels in this series!

Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman

For the past few months, a few ladies and I have met on a somewhat regular basis (usually weekly) for Bible study, this time focusing on Beth Moore's study of Esther.  What a time this has been!

Moore is simply gifted.  Her studies are so well researched; just a well of knowledge each member book is.  From being born for "such a time as this" to learning that God's name is never mentioned in this book of the Bible to coming to a deep understanding that He truly is all over every page, chapter, verse.

Designed as a five-day, individual study and followed by a video, this allows time for that in depth study. times I got behind!

I simply loved the affirming that we are born for the moments God is preparing us for.  Esther, an orphan, a niece...and then a queen, had to have often felt overwhelmed yet still at such peace knowing that she was doing what she had been born to accomplish.

Tonight, we begin our next Beth Moore study...Breaking Free.  Our group is growing.  May they each be blessed as I have been.